About us

Acknowledging Country

‘The greatest and oldest geographers are Indigenous peoples, and what geographers and Australian Indigenous peoples have in common is a love of Country.’ (Linda Burney MP, 12 August 2017)

Country is the essence of Indigenous cultures, and in Australia Country has nourished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for millennia. A connection to Country is a special gift that is accessible for everyone in Australia.

As geographers, we have relationships with, and responsibility to Country, as the field of all our work. We acknowledge the Dharawal, Yuin and Wadi Wadi peoples as the Traditional Custodians of Country in the Illawarra. We also acknowledge the ongoing significance of Mount Keira, the ancient teaching site, below which our School resides.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, to all Indigenous peoples living in the region, and extend that respect to other Indigenous peoples with whom we engage. Through our teaching, research and engagement we seek to help others appreciate and act in respect of the significance of Country.

School of Geography and Sustainable Communities

The School of Geography and Sustainable Communities teaches and investigates issues of global significance, especially the human impact on the Earth, the management of valuable landscapes, and the planning of cities and regions.

The school has a team of internationally influential researchers who can offer a range of opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

It offers students the chance to combine wide learning with practical experience using the school’s many regional and overseas networks. Graduates leave equipped with a portfolio of intellectual and technical abilities making them highly sought after.

There are degree offerings in the areas of human geography, environmental management (including land and heritage management) and socio-economic planning, with a focus on urban and regional sustainability. 

In 2015, the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities which incorporates Geography & Sustainable Communities introduced a new Bachelor of Social Sciences degree program in which Human Geography is a major. The school also contributes core subjects to the Bachelor of Social Sciences first year program.

The school staff are all internationally recognised for their research. Their interests encompass social science, humanities and environmental science, and approaches to understanding the complexities of human existence in a diverse and fast-changing world.

In recent years, inquiries by researchers and teachers into human-environment relationships have been showcased through the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space (ACCESS). ACCESS aside, the school’s research and teaching tackles issues of urban and regional change at a time of global economic instability and heightened mobility of workers and students.

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